It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of new guns that you might forget to shoot the guns you love. We buy firearms with the purpose of shooting them, and let’s face it, we don’t have a cheap hobby. Guns are expensive, ammo is expensive, and if you’re looking for a way to pinch a few pennies, then I’ve got five free targets you can print at home to save some dinero. (Or to really save some money, print at work….I take no responsibility for you getting fired for chewing through 500 sheets of paper.)
There are tons of free targets out there, and lots of them are fairly silly. Silly targets are fun for plinking, and I even included one, but I really want to focus on targets to help shape your skills. I wanted useful and effective targets for defensive firearm training. With that in mind, let’s dive into my five favorite free targets.
Sage Dynamics Targets Vital Anatomy Targets
Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics has done a lot to advance the firearm community. His white paper on pistol-mounted red dots changed the firearm’s world. He runs one of my favorite Youtube channels, especially when it comes to optics reviews. He also produced and provided a set of free targets called the Vital Anatomy Targets. The two targets consist of a headshot target and a center portion of the torso that exposes the heart and lungs of a target.
I use these targets for everything, and they are some of my all-time favorite targets for defensive firearm training. I even use them for patterning shotguns to get a real visual indicator of where my buckshot is going. These targets outline the vital portions of the body and allow you to effortlessly train shot placement with a handgun, rifle, or shotgun. You can run tons of drills on these targets, and they are adaptable for various uses.
Kit Badger Ambush Targets
Kit Badger was inspired by Sage Dynamics to create his own set of free targets. These are similar to the Vital Anatomy targets, but instead of having the threat facing you dead on, they are facing to the side. This allows you to practice your shot placement at an angle most of us don’t practice enough with. Assuming a threat will always face you head-on seems like a disastrous affair.
These targets are detailed and very nice. They include a light skeletal design to allow you to further examine where your shots are hitting inside the body. Mixing these with the Sage Dynamic’s targets offers you a fairly versatile system to train with.
Bill Blowers Tap Rack Tactical B8
I know that B8s has become a lot of people’s personalities on the internet, but they are still very versatile targets for training purposes. They offer a uniform standard and are very simple; plus, when your fudd range doesn’t let you use silhouette targets, the B8 is a great option. The B8 has a very long history, and there are plenty of people who offer them for free online, but a lot of times, the dimensions are wrong.
Big Tex Ordnance hosts a B8 from Bill Blowers of Tap Rack Tactical that is made to the proper dimensions. It’s simple, easy to print, and provides you with B8s on demand. The B8 makes up the standard for a number of different drills and allows you to practice speed and precision and easily see how one affects the other.
Dot Torture is both a free target and a drill that is a healthy piece of training. This is a simple target made up of 10 small dots, and each dot has a specific drill assigned to it. This includes drawing, reloads, one-handed shooting, and more. The target requires fifty rounds of ammo and is an all-in-one target.
The Dot Torture target was designed by the late Todd Green but has early origins that go back to pro shooter John Shaw. It’s great for all skill levels and is versatile. It can be shot with a timer at a variety of distances, and you can add and adapt the drill as you see fit. There are other variants, including a DA/SA version, a rifle version, and more.
KR Defense Battleship Target
Finally, let’s end with a fun one. Plinking is still a joy, and plinking with others makes the basis for a great day. KR Defense hosts a target designed to replicate the classic game Battleship. Print two of these targets, and you can have some fun with a friend and be fairly competitive. You can even mix it up and challenge the shooter to shoot with one hand from the draw or assign each circle a certain number of hits.
It’s simple, but a ton of ton. My son and I enjoyed the game, and it made him want to shoot more, so why not? I don’t mind a little competition. It exercises basic skills and does require some marksmanship fundamentals.
Free Targets Forever?
Who doesn’t love free stuff? In the gun world, it’s rare beyond a pin and sticker. A few free targets can hopefully get you out there and on the range a little more. With that said, let me offer a tip. If the target doesn’t print correctly, set the scale to 100 and try. That usually resolves issues. Second, download them, and save them somewhere.
I’ve had a few of my favorites just disappear after years of use. If you want them forever, download them and save them. Free targets out there, and hopefully, I’ve helped you find a few great ones for practical training purposes.
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